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Is Your Child A Victim Of Cyberbullying?

In this digital age, our children are probably exposed to smartphones and social media daily. They may not fully understand and recognise the extent of online dangers, which leaves them vulnerable to cyberbullying on the web.

As much as you are prepared to protect your children from such dangers, they may be reluctant to confide in you even if they are being cyberbullied. They may be afraid that the cyberbullying will worsen if they complain or worried about losing their online privileges, like getting their devices taken away [1]. Hence, rather than risking it all, children might just try to resolve it on their own.

How you can recognise the signs of cyberbullying.

Your child could be a victim of cyberbullying if he/she is [2]:

  • Uneasy about going to school
  • Unexplained anger or frustration after being online
  • Withdrawn from friends and family
  • Suddenly stops using the computer 
  • Nervous or jumpy when receiving a text or email
  • Secretive about what he/she does on the computer

How you can help your child.

Finding out that your child has been cyberbullied is painful for any parent. While you may want to retaliate to protect your child, it would be best to take a step back and make rational efforts to stop the bullying [3].

Start by letting your child know that the cyberbullying was not their fault. Often, they would take the words of the bullies too seriously and be convinced that they are the cause of the problem. Praise your child for choosing to speak up about it and reassure your child that he or she is not alone [4].

If your child is reluctant to discuss and reveal further information, do not reprimand them for that. Instead, try to help them understand that you are here to help and slowly gain their trust to speak up.

Once you’ve understood the whole situation, try to reach out to the school and let them know. Most schools, especially in Singapore, have strict protocols for responding to cyberbullying [5]. The school would be in a better position and authority to reach out to the bully and help your child.

What you can do is to collect screenshots of the conversations, messages and any other evidence that show clear proof that your child was cyberbullied [6]. Keep a record of these incidents to help with the investigation process. Proceed to block off communication with the bully. Refrain from replying to their messages or contacting them directly to aggravate the situation.

Plano is here to help.

The plano app allows you to block certain apps and browsers* that you deem inappropriate or dangerous for your children. You can also schedule and limit their screen time to ensure that they are not spending excessive time on their devices.

While we provide the tools for you to help your children maintain healthy device habits, do remember to educate them on internet safety and cyber etiquette. Let’s help prevent our children from falling victims to cyberbullying or become cyberbullies themselves.

*Only for android users

[1] SCHOLASTIC PARENTS STAFF. (n.d.). 6 Signs Your Child Is Being Cyberbullied—And What to Do About It. Scholastic. Retrieved July 14, 2020, from https://www.scholastic.com/parents/family-life/social-emotional-learning/technology-and-kids/tackle-online-bullies.html
[2] SCHOLASTIC PARENTS STAFF. (n.d.). 6 Signs Your Child Is Being Cyberbullied—And What to Do About It. Scholastic. Retrieved July 14, 2020, from https://www.scholastic.com/parents/family-life/social-emotional-learning/technology-and-kids/tackle-online-bullies.html
[3] Common Sense Media. (n.d.). What should I do if my kid is bullied online? Retrieved July 14, 2020, from https://www.commonsensemedia.org/cyberbullying/what-should-i-do-if-my-kid-is-bullied-online
[4] Hirsch, L. (2014, June). Cyberbullying. Nemours KidsHealth. https://kidshealth.org/en/parents/cyberbullying.html
[5] Yang, C. (2017, July 22). What can schools do about cyber bullies? The Straits Times. https://www.straitstimes.com/singapore/what-can-schools-do-about-cyber-bullies
[6]  Hirsch, L. (2014, June). Cyberbullying. Nemours KidsHealth. https://kidshealth.org/en/parents/cyberbullying.html



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